Salesforce has offered various products and solutions geared towards SMB set up in the past. All these solutions were typically best-suited for medium-sized and large enterprises. In 2017, Salesforce has introduced Salesforce Essentials. Salesforce Essentials also called as Lightning Essentials is a business solution supports up to 10 users and is best suited for small businesses and start-ups.
Let’s have a look at how Salesforce Essentials plan differs from other Salesforce packages.
Implementation is quicker & easier
As per Salesforce’s 2017 SMB trends report, only 26% of the small businesses have one or more in-house IT support member. One of the prime reason for small businesses avoiding SaaS solutions is lack of implementation support. For a small business owner, it not realistic or feasible to spend weeks on negotiating with service providers, watching demos and going through booklets to set up a CRM system.
Keeping this in mind, Salesforce has simplified the implementation process in Salesforce Essentials by providing user access to Trailhead, a “free gamified online learning platform” which guides users for a quick and smooth set-up process. Since there is less number of features in this streamlined version of Salesforce CRM, there is less effort to put to run it and you can also do it in-house without any IT expert help.
As this solution is for small businesses, Salesforce has priced it quite reasonably in order to entice small business owners. The reason behind this is, small business owners will sign up for Essentials and gradually upgrade to the higher versions of the solution. It is not difficult to upgrade in the later stage as Essentials is just a lower tier option of Salesforce’s Lightning line.
Just for $25 per user/per month, a small business user can get access to Sales Cloud Essentials and Service Cloud Essentials for up to 10 users (even though it says 5 users on the website). The next plan is $75 per user/per month if you are business is growing rapidly and you are expecting more than 10 users in the near future.
Features focused on small businesses
Salesforce Essentials doesn’t offer all the functionalities of Lightning, but it offers several features as compared to the price. Below are few of the best features Salesforce Essentials offer to small business users.
Sales Cloud Essentials
Targeted for a small sales team, Sales Cloud Essentials offers a lot of useful features at a low price.
- Account and contact management
- Opportunity management
- Customizable sales process
- Task management, activity feed
- Einstein activity capture
- Configurable reports and dashboards
- Collaboration tools
- Case management
- Lightning app builder and Appexchange
There are few obvious limitations, like limited analytics/forecasting, lack of workflows, lack of roles and permissions, and lack of built-in billing and price quoting features.
Service Cloud Essentials
Customer service is perhaps the most critical aspect for a small business. Salesforce’s Service Cloud Essentials is a great asset for basic service management. In order to get rich features like order management, and advanced reporting – you need to upgrade. But the current set of features are impressive.
- Salesforce mobile app
- Collaboration tools
- Case auto-assignment
- Email optimization (web and email case capture and auto-response)
- Case escalation rules and queues
- Lead-contact account management
- Task management and activity tracking\
- Lightning app builder
- Custom profiles and page layouts
Salesforce has given an opportunity to small businesses to use world’s #1 CRM at an affordable price. If you keep an eye on costs as your business grow, and stay within your data limits, Salesforce Essentials can be a really useful and productive solution for your business.